Wednesday, September 28, 2005

donkey, homer, and meh...



Friday, September 23, 2005

Interview about art, life, and other assorted gems

Zak Sally of Low.

When you’re trying to explain something you’re not sure about, you can over-explain something and kill it. I love it when people come up to me and say, “Well, that straightens out this.” That used to make me feel awful. “Oh, I miscommunicated something. I spent a year and a half on this dumb comic, and I screwed it up! Nobody gets it!” But now it’s like, “Really? I hadn’t even thought of that.” And it’s like, well maybe it is about that, and I didn’t even [see that]. It’s no less valid than if you look at something you wrote 10 years ago, and you read it now and it’s like, “Wow, this is about something completely different than I thought it was.” That’s as valid, if you see it in your own stuff, as when anybody else does it. Like, with Low, I’ve been getting more comfortable with [the idea] that you can’t, you shouldn’t, control what people think of what you’re doing.

poetry drawn

I don't know--there's some synchronicity involved in me reading this when I did. The conversation I had last night with Cornjoelio touched on some of the topics in this interview about art and audience... plus, I'm a big fan of Low, and Zak has so many more projects going on than I have that I realize I'm a lazy, lazy person who needs to stop relying on external sources for inspiration. So far, I've been a junkyard full of false starts. Hopefully the time has come for me to finish some things I've started; or maybe start some things I can finish.

And a tidbit for those of you who don't read the article, or don't make it to the end: Zak Sally has a cameo in the upcoming Steve Martin film, Shopgirl, and a Low t-shirt can be spotted on Kristen Dunst in the upcoming Cameron Crowe movie, Elizabethtown. Something tells me Low t-shirts look better on Kristen Dunst than they ever did on me. Damn...

Jon Stewart Interview in Wired

manipulating the internets

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is the most compelling reason to get cable that I know of (and lack of money is the most compelling reason not to get cable, but...). Here are a couple of highlights from an interview with Jon Stewart:

The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom. That's all it is. All those media companies say, "We're going to make a killing here." You won't because it's still only as good as the content.


[H]ow much do you need TV to be available in convenient form? It already is convenient - we have the DVR. Do you need TV on your watch as you walk from your cell phone to your BlackBerry? At what point do we get saturated enough to say, "OK, I get it! We can get anything we want at any time! Let's go sit around a large table and eat a meal in silence"? Sometimes this shit's just overkill.

To read the full article (which I recommend), click here.

Thanks to Helskel for the heads-up!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Of Course Bush Cares by Ed Quillen

Happy Monday peeps--cut and paste time since I lack creativity today and Ed Quillen of the Denver Post, as usual, says what I'm thinking better than I ever could.

The images from New Orleans, of people waiting for days on rooftops and freeway overpasses, inspired a benefit concert on national television on Sept. 2. There, rapper Kanye West went off-script on the live broadcast to observe that "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

West was roundly denounced for that, and many have hastened to point out that George W. Bush is no racist. Others have stepped up to say that the slow response was based not on racial factors but economic status. That is, the federal government would have acted much more quickly to rescue wealthy people of any color; poverty, not race, determined the speed and scale of the response.

And they conclude that President Bush doesn't care about the poor. To buttress that assertion, they note that the president's first public statement of sympathy went to Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, who lost one of his houses in Hurricane Katrina, not to some working family who lost everything.

But that's a superficial assessment. Further analysis shows that it's terribly unfair to President Bush. He cares about America, and America needs poor people.

We can start with a statement often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president: "Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them."

The Bush variant would be, "Poor people are the best in the world: that is why we're making so many of them."

According to U.S. Census Bureau report on poverty, 37 million people were in poverty (12.7 percent) in 2004, up from 35.9 million (12.5 percent) in 2003. In 2004, there were 7.9 million families in poverty, up from 7.6 million in 2003.

In 2000, the year before Bush took office, there were 6.4 million families in poverty. The family poverty rate was 8.7 percent then; it's 10.2 percent now.

Why is an increase in poverty good for America?

Consider the Social Security system, which could be in financial jeopardy at some date in the not-so-distant future. The working poor pay into the system through a regressive tax - the rate is the same whether you make $12,000 a year or $90,000 a year, and the percentage actually drops after that.

If you're poor, your life expectancy is shorter. You don't live as long to collect the benefits. Thus the more poor people to pay in and die early without collecting anything, the more solvent the system. And a solvent Social Security system must be a good thing for America; why else would Social Security reform have gotten so much attention from our president?

There are, of course, many other benefits from poverty. It helps fight inflation because poor people are willing to work for less, thereby nipping the wage-price spiral in the bud. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its annual National Compensation Survey. As a headline in the Wall Street Journal last Tuesday put it, "Most paychecks fell in 2004."

Thus inflation is being held in check despite the increases in energy prices. Low inflation means that bonds hold their value, and thus the coupon-clipper class stays comfortable - and we know how important that is to our country.

Nor should we forget that the lower American wages are, the less attractive our country is to illegal immigrants, and you don't have to be Tom Tancredo to agree that we've got some problems there. And poverty can help solve them.

New Orleans demonstrated that poor people tend to congregate in areas close to work with good transportation (they can't afford cars, and thus they pollute less while not contributing to urban sprawl). These areas often make good industrial sites (for, say, toxic-waste incinerators). Because the occupants are poor, their real-estate is worth less, and thus land-acquisition costs are lower for American corporations. And who could be against reducing corporate costs?

Add all these considerations together, and you can see that it's a gross libel even to imply that George Bush doesn't care about poverty. He cares about America, and America needs poor people.

Ed Quillen of Salida is a former newspaper editor whose column appears Tuesday and Sunday.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

wisdom and attitude

wow... i mean, wow: angryblackbitch. check it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

the forgotten middle

i guess the title isn't entirely accurate. sigur ros, a damn fine group from iceland, makers of such past masterpieces as "agaetis byrjun" and "( )" (album covers depicted below) recorded a new album and are touring in the fall.

agaetis byrjun ( )

but if you happen to live in the middle of the country, you better hope you're in chicago or minnesota, otherwise it may be a long drive to get anywhere they are playing during their brief tour in the states. here's the north american tour, conspicuously missing a denver date (but i guess i should be used to that):

Sep 15 2005 8:00P
Opera House Boston, MA
Sep 16 2005 8:00P
Théâtre Maisonneuve Montreal,
Sep 18 2005 8:00P
Bronson Centre Ottawa,
Sep 19 2005 8:00P
Massey Hall Toronto,
Sep 20 2005 8:00P
The Michigan Theatre Ann Arbor, MI
Sep 21 2005 8:00P
Chicago Theatre Chicago, IL
Sep 23 2005 8:00P
Orpheum Theatre Madison, WI
Sep 24 2005 8:00P
State Theatre Minneapolis, MN
Sep 27 2005 8:00P
Orpheum Vancouver,
Sep 28 2005 8:00P
Paramount Theatre Seattle, WA
Sep 29 2005 8:00P
Roseland Theatre Portland, OR
Oct 1 2005 8:00P
Paramount Theatre Oakland, CA
Oct 3 2005 8:00P
Copley Symphony Hall San Diego, CA
Oct 5 2005 8:00P
Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles, CA
Oct 6 2005 8:00P
The Joint Las Vegas, NV

you can preview their new album, "takk," on their myspace site (i'm guessin' i'm gonna have to get me one a them--a my space registration dealie and the new album). after listening to it twice last night, i have to say that i'm impressed with where they're going... they seem to be reaching out more into their rock sensibilities while holding onto the ambiant style that makes them so unique and interesting.


and in case you don't believe my take on takk, here's a review from the onion.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


In case you missed it, the Broncos really sucked today. Losing 34-10 is not a good way to start the season. Ugh.

Update: But at least we're only trailing one team in our division.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The One-Trick Pony Strikes Again

Jesus, where to begin? GW Bush is at it again, blurring the line between Church and State.

"US President George W Bush has declared Friday 16 September a national day of prayer and remembrance for the victims of Hurricane Katrina."--BBC News.

With the exception of W, New Orleans, et al., have been in the thoughts and/or prayers of the American Public since the day that bitch slammed into the gulf coast. They've been in my thoughts, though I wouldn't go so far as to say my prayers. See, I'm not a Christian, nor is this a Christian country, so I do have some issues with the terminology that our great Christian President chose to use in reference to this day--a "day of remembrance", fine, but a "day of prayer" further messes with my sensibilities. Granted, I think there's something to be said for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, but I'm still not convinced completely.

Religion aside, this may come as a surprise to all of you, but Bush has the gall to invoke 9-11, even after the miserable response given to this disaster (admittedly from all levels of Gov't, but we're talking about Crawford's village idiot here, so bear with me).

W said: "Four years later, Americans remember the fears and uncertainty and confusion of that terrible morning.
"But above all, we remember the resolve of our nation to defend our freedom, rebuild a wounded city, and care for our neighbours in need."--BBC News.

You can only milk that for so long Mr. Bush! You were at the right place at the right time then, but this is in no way the same. You were able to take 9-11 and give the illusion of authority four years ago, but your tepid and inadequate response has shown your weakness. And really, would you stop exploiting the deaths of all of those people for your agenda? I know that this country has a way of not paying attention, but more people are looking now than ever before, and you just happen to be naked with that cute (but not authoritative) deer in the headlights look. Congratulations. I, for one, am filled with confidence.

Not to be outdone in insensitivity, VP Cheney had this to say:

"I think we are in fact on our way to getting on top of the whole Katrina exercise," Mr Cheney said.--BBC News

Jesus F--ing Christ on a M--F--ing crutch, an "exercise"??? Perhaps you haven't noticed, but this is not a dress rehearsal! 1,000s of people have died, countless others are homeless and unemployed, and the environmental damage to Pontchartrain and the Gulf are going to take some time to be apparent--but I won't be eating Crawfish from there any time soon. What gall and insensitivity. YOU BASTARDS!

Sorry bout the rant, but who the f-- installed these a$$hole$ to head the once (though not forever) most powerful country on the planet? And why do we have to listen to their inane babble for three more years???

Apparently when they said they needed to reinforce the dikes the President thought they meant giving lesbians the right to marry. So no money for that sinful city under the sea! (Imagine what an ounce of prevention could've done for the easy! It boggles the mind.)

Friday, September 09, 2005

Part ? of Jake's Fate

Jake Fate is of noble lineage—fantastic, god-like, noble lineage. Before the human mind was conned into believing that there could only be one true god (a god with a capitol “g”), there were many gods and goddesses in the collective unconscious. Jake’s father was one of the true gods, and his mother was a mortal woman who really dug the power of Jake’s god-father. Granted, mythology texts quite consistently assert that the fates were women, but those women were mere mortals who, for some reason, wanted to be with a man of power, even if they had to share him with several others—kinda like mormons that way. There was great a procreation, and then an even greater explosion. The children were scattered about the earth. Jake took the western portion of what is now the United States and Canada, while his brother Tate took the eastern half. This was several thousand years ago, when the area’s humans were tree-hugging reds who could be content with the planet as it was: kind, cruel, and beautiful. He was taken off-guard when the first white men crossed the Mississippi. They showed a cruelty that the elements had only dreamed of. They were a plague, allowed into this area, unbeknownst to Jake, by his own damned brother.

Tate’s will overpowered Jake, which wasn't unusual. Tate was a master in industry, while Jake loved the arts. Several hundred years later, with the inevitable combination of their talents, the arts in the Americas had become an industry all its own. Tate’s major art reserves were based in New York and Chicago, while Jake had an experiment gone awry in Hollywood… cursed Hollywood.

something something

In a smoke-filled apartment two young boys slept, one in a crib and the other in the lower bunk of what would become both of their beds. Their parents looked in at their progeny and smiled. The mother turned off the light in the bedroom, took the father by the hand and led him to the living room. The flash of the television illuminated the room with its flicker, chattering about the news of the day: Vietnam was winding down, save the troops who were finishing up the evacuation; the Christmas shopping season was underway; the weather was turning dark.

The father popped some corn on the stove, his bare chest occasionally spattered with hot oil, and he had a cigarette hanging from his lips. His beer was getting warm next to the stove but he didn’t care. His family was good, even the usually ornery younger boy. His band didn’t have any gigs for a while but his wife was taking care of the slack financially until he could get his break. All in all, he couldn’t complain. Life was good.

The popcorn was done, salted and buttered, and Dad joined Mom on the couch. They looked into each other’s eyes and shared a kiss. Ah, the American Dream realized…

Friday, September 02, 2005

Sometimes I like the company I work for...

e-mail from yesterday:

We have had many requests asking if we could help with relief for those affected by Hurricane Katrina, and we have decided to have a "jeans day" firmwide. The cost to you will be a minimum donation of $5 to wear jeans Tuesday, September 6. Checks should be written to the American Red Cross or, if you prefer, Salvation Army (mark checks "Hurricane Relief"); checks and other donations will be sent to the Accounting Department in the Omaha office, so we can send the donation off as one. K**** R*** will match donations up to $2,500. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

e-mail from today:

In light of the magnitude of the devastation by Hurricane Katrina, today we decided to increase the firm's donation to the hurricane relief funds from $2,500 to $10,000. In addition, so far fundraising from just a few floors of the Omaha office has already raised more than $2,500. We very much appreciate the response so far and encourage everyone to be generous.

I hope all of you have a healthy and relaxing holiday weekend.


Sometimes "The Man" ain't so bad. Nice to see my money doubled and some people being taken care of.

Photo stolen from the onion due to constructive criticism via Helskel of the Rubber Blog.

god outdoes terrorists

Neither Here Nor There, But A Thought-Provoking Quote To Be Sure

I don’t understand why anyone would marry if, deep in their hearts, they didn’t appreciate what the other person has to offer. It couldn’t be for the sex, as marriage, that toxic combination of increasing age and familiarity, is the absolute libido crusher. So why? Conversation? Companionship? Or is it for the reassurance that for every terrible choice they make, and every misfortune that besets them, they’ll always have someone else to blame?

From the Lippy Imp